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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Envision doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Envision doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Envision doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Envision doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Envision doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The XC40’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Envision doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the XC40 and the Envision have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Envision last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.
The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Envision’s (12 vs. 6 years).
Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Envision.
The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 192) than the Envision’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T5 AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (248 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Envision Premium AWD turbo 4 cyl. (22 city/30 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).
The XC40 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Envision doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the XC40’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Envision:
The XC40 stops shorter than the Envision:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Envision (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R18). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Envision (245/45R20 vs. 235/50R19).
The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Envision’s standard 60 series tires. The XC40’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Envision Premium’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Envision’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The XC40 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Envision doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1 inch wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the Envision.
The XC40 is 9.5 inches shorter than the Envision, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The XC40 has .3 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Envision.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Envision doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Envision’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Envision is only 1500 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.
The XC40’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Envision’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the XC40 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Envision can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The XC40 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Envision doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Envision’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Envision doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Envision’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Envision doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC40 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Envision doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC40 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The XC40 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC40 will retain 46.39% to 55.1% of its original price after five years, while the Envision only retains 32.33% to 37.32%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC40 will be $5119 to $9214 less than for the Buick Envision.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC40, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Envision isn't recommended.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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